Thursday, 16 June 2011

A New Chum........

When I was 3 or 4, I was walking up the street with my Mom, when a small dog jumped out of the bushes and bit me on the wrist.  It didn't break the skin, just a scratch, but it scared me badly.  My mother tried to comfort me by telling me that she too had been bitten by a small dog of the same breed when she was a child.  She hated that breed because of it.  I won't name the breed because I love all dogs and don't want to tarnish any breed's reputation because of something that happened so long ago.

From that day on, I was scared to death of all dogs.  If I stepped out of my house, onto the sidewalk and saw a dog 3 blocks away, I would start to shake and cry because I was so afraid that it would run down the street and bite me.

This was a real fear, a deep fear and it ruled my young, innocent life.  Any dog, big or small was a monster out to get me.  No-one could tell me that it was just a one-time thing, not all dogs bite, dogs are good, etc. etc. etc.  I knew that they were all going to bite me no matter what anyone said.

They told me if I act afraid, the dog will sense it.  Well, the dogs were right, I was afraid, more than afraid I was terrified!

After we had moved to our new house, one day my Dad said we were going out for something.  Mom was staying at home, it was just Dad, Lynda and I.

We got on one streetcar, then another, then yet another.  When we got off at our final destination, we saw a huge sign that read "TORONTO HUMANE SOCIETY".  I, at 10, didn't know what that meant.

We went inside this Toronto Humane Society place and were greeted by a man who showed us to a big room in the back.  Suddenly we could hear dogs barking!!!  I was terrified!  My Dad told me that the dogs were in cages and they couldn't get near me, no matter what.  He promised.  Crossed his heart and hoped to die if he wasn't telling me the truth.

Tears started to come to my eyes as we entered this huge room full of cages of dogs.  Big dogs, little dogs, hairy dogs, smooth dogs.  So many dogs I couldn't believe my eyes......and Dad had told the truth, they were all in cages and couldn't hurt me even if they wanted to.

We walked around and around to each and every cage and once I was used to them, Dad announced that we were here to buy one of them.  Really?  I started to cheer up at the thought that maybe a dog of our own would like me and not be tempted to bite me!

Dad showed us one cage with 3 Beagle pups and said that we should pick one of them to take home.  When we had been walking around, Lynda and I had spotted one dog that as soon as we got near him, he jumped up on the cage door and had asked us to take him home.  We loved that little dog already.

We showed this dog to Dad and he said "are you kidding?  That dog is ugly.  These Beagles are beautfiul, pick one and we'll take him home."  Lynda and I protested and said that we really, really wanted the ugly one because he had told us he wanted us by jumping up.  The beagle pups had just curled up and gone to sleep.  Our dog was wagging his tale and smiling!

Dad gave in.  We went to the front and bought a collar and a leash and gave it to the man.  Dad did the paperwork, paid for him and the man went back and brought out our dog with the collar and leash on!
We were so thrilled and so was the little ugly dog.

When we got home, we shouted with joy "Mom, we have a puppy!!!"  Mom took one look at the little ugly dog and said "Oh My God, what is THAT?"  He had really wirey looking hair, sticking out all over the place, he was smelly and they had fed him so much he looked, as Mom said, like he had swallowed a football!

We took him to the bathroom, gave him a bath, combed and combed his hair.  Dad was drying him with a towel and this little dog was so happy!  We put out his bowls of food and water and he found them and had a taste and then started to run through the house like a madman.

We took him for walks, he peed on literally every bush and tree there was.  Later that night, all 4 of us had on our pyjamas and housecoats and sat in the living room with our new best friend.  We were trying to think of a name and Mom said she didn't care what his name was, that dog was not coming near her.....she still thought he was ugly.  We thought he was beautiful.  We decided that his name would either be Buddy or Chum.  After much discussion, we settled on Chum.

Chum had made a decision of his own and that was that he loved Mom.  When she wasn't expecting it, he jumped up in her lap.  She looked shocked at this but started to laugh and said "well, I guess he's not so bad".  Right after she said that, he made a little pee in her lap!  Mom wasn't very pleased at all.

My Dad said it was just that he was excited, took Chum and put him on his lap.....yup, he peed on Dad too!  Lynda was next, you guessed it, turn was last, where the heck did all this pee come from?????  We laughed and laughed and Dad said he had marked his territory and that it meant that he loved us all.

Mom wasn't very happy as you can imagine with all this laundry to be done.

We all changed our pyjamas, and went off to bed, Lynda and I were told, "the dog sleeps on the floor".
When we got in bed, he laid right beside it on the floor, happy to be in his new home.

The next morning, we got up early and were very quietly calling " Chum"....he didn't come when we called him so we went looking for him.

There he was, sound asleep right beside Mom, and right up on her bed!

Our beautiful Chum!

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